England and Pakistan lock horns in the first T20 international in 3-matches T20 series at Manchester on Friday.
After a cracking finale at Southampton, Pakistan reaches Manchester to join the rest of the T20 players for the 3-matches T20 series. The Old Trafford will host all the matches of the series. England looks pretty strong in the shorter format and they are completely a different side, none of the Test players is part of the T20 side. Pakistan is a good combination of young and experienced players. Test pacer Naseem Shah got the T20 call-up and management also retained Malik-Haffez duo. Babar Azam led-Pakistan had a disappointing start after losing the top T20 rankings to Australia last year.
Iftikhar Ahmed is a good investment at middle-order and the BBL performer Haris Rauf would give a tough confusion to skipper along with 4 other extra pacers like Amir, Wahab, Naseem, and Afridi. On the other hand, England recently defeated Ireland in the home series and they had also defeated South Africa and New Zealand in last away T20 series. Morgan is in top form, the leading T20 scorer after the WC triumph last year. Tom Curran also impressed in both away assignments. Players like Banton and Bairstow in top-order can push England top of the game in this shorter format of cricket. This contest would be a cracker one and Pakistan can surprise Hosts if their pacers have a good day at Old Trafford.
Old Trafford, Manchester is a ground where we expect a good-scoring affair. The weather is pretty cloudy, a perfect T20 condition. With the new ball, pacers can trouble and spinners can take advantage of the later the match progresses. Chasing would be an ideal call after winning the toss. Any score above 160 can be tricky against a good bowling lineup.
Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, David Willey
Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Mohammad Amir/Naseem Shah, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik
Last home-series – M: 3, Runs: 132, Avg: 132
Last 10 T20Is – Runs: 395, Avg: 65.83, SR: 182.87
Last 9 T20Is – Runs: 289, Avg: 41.28, SR: 129.59
T20Is – M: 7, Runs: 166, Avg: 55.33, SR: 141.88